Horror Movies Are The Real Box Office Winners Of 2023

By Britta DeVore | Published

While superhero movies coming from DC or the MCU have been the big box office winners over the last few years, the same certainly can’t be said for 2023. With The Marvels off to a disappointing opening weekend start and nothing seeming to go right for the DCEU, Bloody Disgusting reports that it’s horror movies that have risen to the occasion and brought audiences to theaters. From Five Nights at Freddy’s to M3GAN and Saw X, the box office has seen nothing but terrific numbers thanks to these spooky features.

Five Nights At Freddy’s

While some may be torn on the story and scares of Five Nights at Freddy’s, horror movie fans still flocked to cinemas around the world to trade in their hard-earned cash for a ticket. Toppling the domestic box office, the film about killer animatronics come to life has made $116 million with a $220 million deposit globally. This is especially impressive as the film’s production company, Blumhouse, pushed for it to receive a Peacock release the same day – meaning that diehard fans still wanted to see the title on the big screen. 

Saw X

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And then, there’s Saw X, which certainly hasn’t been playing any games since it rolled into theaters at the tail end of September. Now, almost two months later, the horror movie has earned $52.7 million domestically with the number almost doubling around the world, hitting $100 million at the global box office. While the franchise took a spill with its 2021 installment, Spiral, Saw X returned it to its former glory with the turnout making it obvious that the fandom hasn’t yet moved on from John Kramer’s twisted games. 



The year opened with the uber-successful Blumhouse horror movie, M3GAN, and the genre has been gaining steam at the box office ever since. Taking a page from the killer doll tales first made big screen famous by the Child’s Play franchise, audiences were thrilled to see a new maniacal doll take front and center. With a sequel already on the way, audiences will see the next chapter in M3GAN’s story in 2025.

Scream VI

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From there, fans of the Scream franchise saw the core-four return in Scream VI with Jenna Ortega and the rest of the new gang returning for the latest installment in the classic scary movie franchise. Another big win for horror movies at the box office, Scream VI was a top-notch performer, with the creative team soon announcing that a seventh film was in the works.

Stephen King

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And then, there were horror movies including Rob Savage’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel, The Boogeyman and Insidious: The Red Door. Both horror movies came out during the summer which is typically a time that sees action-packed blockbusters kill at the box office. Despite other titles like The Flash and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny arriving around the same time, both films were able to hold their own and nab ticket sales around the globe.

More To Look Forward To In 2024

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As the summer began to wear down, Valak stepped out of the shadows with The Nun II dominating the charts and proving that The Conjuring universe still had plenty of scares left up its sleeve. The only big surprise coming from the horror movie genre over the last year was David Gordon Green’s The Exorcist: Believer which was a major underperformer at the global box office. With films like Terrifier 3, Horoscope, and A Quiet Place: Day One arriving in 2024, it looks like this will be another terrific turn around the sun for horror fans everywhere.